Tuesday, July 25, 2006

DRM is bullshit.

Digital Rights Management, is what it means. It's bullC.R.A.P.

I want to take 20 seconds from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, for a YTMND site. This is technically illegal, but is of no real consequence (in fact, I specifically rented it - and hence got the inspiration for a YTMND - because of the clips used on YTMND).

A long time ago, DRM was more commonly known as copy-protection, and was fairly unobtrusive, unless you wanted to do something illegal and didn't know what you were doing. The problem is, lots of people did know what they were doing. The result is an arms race and an escalation of hostilities which has spilled into the streets of innocent users like me, who want to do a trivial but unorthodox thing with their content.

So, I have to download the movie illegally. The problem is, most illegal downloaders are assholes that don't give a shit about the creators or their pay, so I can't even find the movie alone; just the entire Indiana Jones trilogy. So I want 20 seconds of video, to be modified and released without profit (and if others are like I was, increased profit to the right people), and thanks to DRM, I have to illegally download three entire films.

YTMND is hilarious and has only boosted rentals of films like Finding Forrester and Indiana Jones, both of which I never would have rented without YTMND as an influence (remember, rentals pay royalties to the film companies). Because of this ridiculous arms race, people like me have to resort to questionable methods to do harmless (even beneficial) things with the content in our hands.

YOU CAN'T WIN, guys. Obviously your DRM doesn't work because someone foiled it and I can download the films on the internet, even though I can't get them from a video capture from my DVD player. And you know what? It never works. DRM is always foiled in a ridiculously trivial amount of time compared to the effort you guys put into setting it up. It's now invading innocent people, like iTunes users and people who put CDs from sony into their computers, which installed rootkits. It's got to stop guys.

Art like music, film, games, alledgedly frivolous stuff like that... Yes, people should get paid for it, but it's not a necessity. If you go out of business because you have no profit margin and/or buying it is so much harder than stealing it, boo hoo you're out of business; don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.

I will make one exception: Steam, from Valve. Steam is awesome. Instead of restricting my use, Steam expands it by letting me download my games to any computer in the world, without a disc or text code. This is a DRM that works especially well for online games, and is prevalent in single doses in many MMOGs already. It's the way of the future.

So, there's a bright side to everything.

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Anonymous Oipo said...

Yes, it's getting outrageous. The people who invent security measures like these still haven't realised that to every keyhole, there is a key.

Waste of money, I'd say. Neither will I include it in my games, if I make any commercial ones. If it's good, it'll sell regardless of piracy.

7/26/2006 12:59 PM  

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